The DOJ Asks the Supreme Court to Allow More Time for Title 42 to Be Phased Out


    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked the U.S. Supreme Court for additional time to end Title 42, the immigration policy that helps federal government officials speedily return border-crossers to their home countries.

    The DOJ's request came after Chief Justice John Roberts halted a lower court's decision ordering the Biden administration to end Title 42 by December 21. The DOJ has asked for an extension of time to end the program.

    As Politico reported: “In Tuesday’s Supreme Court filing, the Justice Department conceded that the administration expected a temporary increase in border crossings, while asking that justices keep Title 42 in place at least until the end of the day on Dec. 27. And if the Supreme Court doesn’t reach a decision until Dec. 23 or later, the administration is asking for two business days to implement new policies.”

    Roberts' decision was made after a group of 19 Republican-led states submitted an emergency petition asking the Court to keep Title 42 in place. Title 42 is a Trump-era immigration policy that has been in force since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in March 2020. A total of 2.5 million people have been detained at the U.S. southern border because of the policy.

    In the months preceding the date that Title 42 was slated to end, approximately 14,000 people were reported to be sitting in Tijuana, Mexico, ready to cross the border into the United States once the policy had ended.

    The GOP-led state legislatures argued that the termination of Title 42 would cause their states “irreparable harm” and impose cost burdens by forcing these states to host large numbers of immigrants.

    U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, in Tuesday's court filing, acknowledged that the ending of Title 42 would “likely lead to a temporary increase in border crossings”; however, she also said that the administration was prepared to establish “new policies to respond to the temporary disruption that will occur whenever the Title 42 orders end.”

    Prelogar stated, “If applicants are dissatisfied with the immigration system Congress has prescribed in Title 8, their remedy is to ask Congress to change the law—not to ask this Court to compel the government to continue relying on an extraordinary and now obsolete public-health measure as de facto immigration policy.”

    The case before the Supreme Court of the United States is Arizona v. Mayorkas, No. 22A544.


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